U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chair of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, made the following statement in response to President Obama's Rose Garden address on Syria. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"The President today announced that he has decided to take military action against the Assad regime, but will seek Congressional authorization first. I'm glad he has listened to the American people and Congress, but he should have asked Congress to come back into session immediately. However, I have seen this before with a President who had already made up his mind on action. I voted against action in Kosovo in 1999 - a resolution that ultimately failed - but President Clinton decided to take action anyway. So I'm not yet sold that the President will abide by a Congressional vote, especially since he has already indicated that Assad crossed his red line, he doesn't need authorization and he is ready to act.
"This is a very serious issue and Members of Congress must have all the appropriate information in order to make an informed decision. That is why I will be flying up from Miami tomorrow and arriving in Washington at noon for the Members classified briefing scheduled for 2pm.
"However, the President still has yet to articulate a clear objective, what U.S. national interests are at stake, what our strategy will be, and what our contingency plans are for all possible outcomes. I hope these things become more clear as we debate the appropriate course of action in Syria over the coming days.